Oly 45 1.8 or 75 1.8 for candid street photography?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by LowriderS10, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Hi guys,

    So I was set on buying the 45 for my candid street photography, but I've decided to sell my Canon gear and therefore have more money to play with and could afford/justify the 75. After reading the reviews, the 75 seems to be an all-around winner.

    However...is it a better lens for street photography? My main street/candid lenses have been the Canon 100 on full frame then the 135L on full frame. I like the distance the 135L affords, though sometimes I wished I could zoom out a bit...overall, I did prefer the 135mm FL, though...since I like to stand back and observe and not be observed. (Nothing creepy about it, I just don't want to bother my subjects).

    What's your take on it?
  2. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    May 21, 2012
    I have both, I've always preferred taking my 45mm over my 75mm for casual street photography for its sheer pocketability. People go nuts over the 75mm image quality (and rightly so), but the 45 is definitely no slouch and affords me a slightly wider view for the same aperture.
  3. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    The 75 is a superb lens indeed, but for me is among my very least used lenses. I want it when I want the "look" for portraits, but for street photography and nearly everything else, I prefer shorter focal lengths for the field of view and the greater DOF afforded by the shorter focal lengths.

    It really comes down to what "look" you want your street images to have. Generally speaking, a wider FOV is more commonly used for this type of photography but..

    that said...

    Great street images can be created with the 75, though!!! Joe has done some inspiring street work with the 75, which gives a very different and cool "style" to street work. And I think it could serve you well... if that's the style you want to shoot.

    I think the 45 would be more versatile, however, in general, and can still give a bit of long lens "style" of street work I was speaking about above. I get the sense from what you've said that you might prefer the less extreme approach, for street photography, that the 45 would give, vs. the 75.

    There is no right nor wrong here... great street images can be created with lenses ranging from the 12 to the 75... it just depends on what style of imagery you like to create.
  4. Nam-in-Sonoma

    Nam-in-Sonoma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 23, 2012
    Penngrove, CA
    It all depends on how comfortable you are approaching people....here are two examples

    with 45mm

    with 75mm
  5. eekim

    eekim New to Mu-43

    Jun 10, 2013
    San Francisco
    Eugene Eric Kim
    My street lens of choice is the 25mm. I have the 75mm, and I've been playing with it for "street shooting." It's challenging. You can definitely get interesting facial shots from far away, but I think that defeats the purpose, as the best street shots IMHO show some interaction between the subject and the camera. And of course, it's not a flexible focal length. My guess is that a 45mm would be the better street lens.

    That said, you can do some interesting things with it. Here are some of my "street" shots using the 75mm. You'll notice that several of these are of people's backs, which is a good example of street shots that I don't particularly like.





  6. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Hi ..Oly 45 mm is a superb piece of glass for street photography . I love this FL and gets to close without interfering into anyone's personal space . Oly 75 is a bit long but can b used .I would suggest trying 60 mm 2.8 as well .
  7. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Street lens

    Mt street lens of choice is the 25mm as it is small and super sharp and on the OMD does not draw attention in comparison with a DSLR and when using the LCD it is almost totally ignored.

    I have used the 75mm for some styreet work and it is a superb lens but being silver and larger than the 25 does tend to attract more attention, it can also be restricting in narrow streets and crowded areas as it requires ditance to compose and capture so you need space from your subject in comparison to the 25 - it is a superb lens though but will not replace my 25 as street lens of choice!

    Street with 25mm

    Street with 75mm
  8. ranxoren

    ranxoren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    I've used both for candid street photography as well and personally much preferred the 75mm FL for that purpose (although the 45mm shot below is my fav):

    45mm (I consider this shot candid street photography as 1- it was out and about in the "street" and 2- he had no idea I was taking a picture of him therefore candid! :p)
    P5260082 by OT Kammah, on Flickr

    P6080022 by OT Kammah, on Flickr
  9. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Both can be used. I enjoy 'paparazzi'-style portraiture in the streets, but I confess I more often than not have my P14 affixed when going out into the street. I have yet to acquire a 25mm, but on FF, 50mm 1.8/1.4 was my go to for street.

    Short teles are perhaps restrictive for any particular individual's taste on street photography, but that is reflective of our subjective choices on what we think looks 'good', or 'right'. Used correctly, short teles make excellent 'street' lenses.
  10. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thanks, guys...I may end up with both the 45 and the 75, as the 75 isn't available in black yet in Korea, so I'm going to buy a black 45, shoot that for a while then get the black 75 when it becomes available...I prefer to not interact with my subjects (I love interacting with people, but for candid street stuff, I want to catch them in their element, without the distraction that comes from knowing that you're being photographed). On full frame I've liked both the 100 f2 and the 135L f2 for different reasons...I do love the "compression" and bokeh that comes with a longer lens...the 60mm FL would be good, but 2.8 is a bit slow for me...I like my primes fast. :D
  11. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Lowrider... excellent approach and congrats on being able to have both lenses, when the black 75 becomes available. You will have a variety of great options available for your street photography!
  12. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
    I'd say neither... 35mm (17mm 1.8) or 50mm (PL25mm) are considered the traditional street photography focal lengths. 45mm and 75mm are portrait lengths, and would be good for street portraiture, eg isolating a person in a crowd. 45mm and 75mm are very hard for hip-shooting also.
  13. britinjapan

    britinjapan Mu-43 Rookie

    May 25, 2013
    Shoot with the 75mm 80% of the time. Allows you to get in and isolate whatever you want. The best lens there is....and I`ve got Nikon 135mm on full frame, but honestly the 75mm is the best package out there!
  14. britinjapan

    britinjapan Mu-43 Rookie

    May 25, 2013
  15. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I got impatient...a friend is visiting the States right now, so I ordered a black 75 from B&H to her parents' address and she's bringing it back with her! :D I'll have the first one in Korea! ;)

    True...later down the road I may get some wider ones, but I actually prefer to isolate my subject (with a sea of bokeh behind him/her)...

    mwhahahaha...this is wicked to hear...thanks!

    Also...britinjapan: Wicked shot, that's some seriously creamy bokeh!!!